[NLT] Market Your Business Like a Pro

[NLT] Market Your Business Like a Pro

So let’s imagine for a moment you’re the owner of a luxury hotel, but this could be any business it’s just that luxury hotels suffer more than most from what I am about to take you through, and you’re posting regularly on Facebook and Instagram, occasionally on Twitter and results are not what you expected or hoped for, what can you do about it?

It could be that you have 20,000 or more followers but if engagement and shares are poor then it doesn’t really matter how many followers you have if they are not engaging with you.

Let’s take a look and see if we can remedy this.

I have been monitoring high end businesses for a while now, especially luxury hotels, and what’s happening is they are getting lazy. Some have this idea that just because they have a lot of followers its ok to take their eye off the ball, believe me it’s not, because customer experience is everything these days.

Let’s take Facebook as a case in point, Facebook is by far the biggest and most powerful social channel and it should be used to not only promote your hotel but to give your visitors, both old and new, the best experience you can. Facebook is fantastic for telling your story but many don’t, it’s the same bland updates day in day out.

What can we do?

I want you to think about why people flock to Facebook before any other social channel, escapism pure and simple. People go to escape, reconnect and connect with friends and family but because we can search and see other people posts we get a fantastic snapshot of their world. People want to see content that’s relevant, fun and useful. Most of what’s out there from high end businesses is the exact opposite.

This is where your hotel, especially if you have a luxury hotel, can really make a massive play.

For most that visit Facebook we know it’s aspirational and more than likely they will never be able to stay the hotel, but because they are thinking about it and drooling we have to think that it’s not impossible, you never know. But that should not stop you from connecting and maybe answering a few questions, should it? No this is the perfect excuse to connect with potential guests and it will help you ‘get the word out’ that you listen, you are respectful, helpful and the place to be.

Most hotels, and other businesses are missing a massive opportunity to connect and have people share their content.

This example is typical of what I mean:

Click image for full size view

This is just pure laziness on someone’s part. I haven’t included the name as the person/s responsible could be in trouble and that’s the last thing I want, but come on this is lazy marketing at its worst.

What could be better?

  • The post mentions awards but where are the images to help the viewer decide who to vote for or at least engage with the viewer
  • This post should be full of fantastic images or at the very least pictures or even better, videos of last year’s event
  • There should be ‘calls to action’ CTA on what to do next, with links but nothing

This isn’t the only incident, this is something that goes on a lot, especially on Facebook.

So what can you do to increase engagement?

Simple, it’s not enough to upload fantastic images and video, although it certainly helps, you have to engage with your audience. The viewer has to feel part of the ‘community’ and be included, it’s not to ask a question or make a comment and then be ignored.

I speak to quite a few hotels on digital marketing and most come back with the same answer, “we don’t have time” or “we missed the comment”. You, whatever your business, can’t afford to miss either as this is reputation damaging on a major scale.

“The social phone is ringing. Are you picking up?” – Marcel Lebrun, founder of Radian6 (now Salesforce Radian6) coined this important phrase

So what’s to be done?

There’s a lot that can be done initially, monitor your feed for comments and shares, thank the person who commented, create a content calendar, blog with passion and reply within a reasonable time.

NLT is a concept by Keith McMean to help you break out of the old way of thinking when it comes to your business and how to grow it successfully. If you have any questions or thoughts on traction we can talk them through in the comments, this way if you have a fantastic idea I can give you the credit you deserve and if I use it in a future post you’ll be right there with me.

Keith McMean

Follow your Heart and not the Mob!

Follow your Heart and not the Mob!

The title for this post came really easy as I am a great advocator of people going their own way and doing their own thing.

Social media has thrown up all sorts of things, both good and bad, when it comes to following people on any platform.

We have seen the rise of influencers and gurus, the people who others follow with an almost ‘cultish’ obsession, liking and sharing their content left right and centre. I have to admit there are people I follow because of the content they put out and I do like and share their content but I hope with a reasonable amount of restraint.

When someone is obsessed they forget about why they are on the platform to begin with and they also forget about their own content and the creation of it.

So how do we ‘follow our hearts and not the mob?

Well the mob follows the next big thing, be it a person or a platform without any thought to why or if they should be creating their own original content. You see their mindset is that of “why should I create content when I can like and share my idols stuff?” I suppose there is logic to it but to me it’s the easy and safe way out it takes no thought at all.

When you create content from your own thoughts, ideas, knowledge and beliefs it’s so much more authentic than just hitting the ‘share’ and ‘like’ buttons all the time. You have more knowledge than you know and sharing it is a wonderful and liberating thing. Now some would have you believe that you have to have ‘reach’ and that you must write it so that search engines and the like ‘pick it up’. Yes you do but let’s start from the beginning. When you first start ‘laying out’ your thoughts and begin to share your knowledge forget this and just concentrate on writing. Forget about everything else and just write. Once you have everything down then you can start to make sense of it.

I never set out to write anything that is packed with keywords or that search engines will pick up. I write with ‘the person intended to get the most out of it’ in mind…you! If you like it enough to share and like it, brilliant others will read it and share it too and then the cycle begins. This is the ‘organic’ route to becoming an influencer. Too many times have I read posts that are too structured, they are meant for search engines rather than people.

Write for your intended reader and you won’t go wrong.

So do yourself a favour and follow your heart and not the mob. Yes it’s ok to like and share other people ‘stuff’ but remember you are your own person with thoughts, knowledge and beliefs and don’t forget that others want to hear them. They want you to ‘share’, they want you to give them the benefit of your knowledge and experience.

So are you ready to follow your heart and not the mob? You bet you are!

What it takes to be a Mentor

What it takes to be a Mentor

I never really thought of myself as a mentor until about 5 years ago when I was asked by a student if I could give her some advice? I was flattered to say the least.

Being in business for yourself is tough, as anyone who is will tell you, so for someone to ask “can you help?” is a real boost to the confidence.
I personally have two mentors and they really help me with lots of things I wasn’t doing correctly, I knew it I just didn’t do anything about it.

Something a mentor should do for you is give you a sense of balance when things aren’t going the way they should and help you spot it. Sometimes you can just get lost in the day to day running of your business and stop seeing the bigger picture.

One of the first things I see on the marketing side of a business is how quickly this can slow after the initial burst of energy. What happens is a few clients come knocking and straight away the business thinks “we’ve made it” or “we don’t need to market ourselves anymore” or they just forget about it. This is the worst thing you can do as a business because unless you have a really strong brand or people are talking about you on a daily basis you get forgotten about really quickly. Then when the realization hits home it can be too late.

So what can a business do to combat this?
Its can be easy to create a marketing plan but what can be the problem is not implementing it on a daily basis. When it comes to online marketing businesses can get stuck doing the personal stuff and forget about the business promotion they should really be doing. Online marketing and promotion is a fantastic way of helping a business to reach new markets and clients but you have to be personable and you have to ‘be there‘ but you also need a plan and you need to stick to it.

As a mentor this is what I do for businesses. Amongst other things I help them create a marketing and promotion plan and then help them stick to it. Its not always easy setting goals for yourself or your business but once you have its surprising how a clear vision for your business appears. Once you have that vision the rest falls into place. A good mentor should be able to support you and guide you through what is good for your business and how you can progress it and get the best out of it. You will find that this ‘positivity’ spills over in to your personal life too.

Having a structure to your marketing is key to success and something as simple as when to post articles that promote your business is a great start. Also when to send out updates that support your blog post. These and a few more are elements that need to go into the plan. Now before we go any further if you don’t have a blog for your business then you should. “Why do I need a blog” you might be thinking? Well quite simply this is the most personable way of getting your message out to your audience there is. Email marketing is a great way to do this also but if you don’t have a ‘list’ then a blog is the quickest way to build up your reputation and your list.

Top Tip: Take a look at the top of the page in the right hand nav bar and you will see that I am giving away an eBook for anyone who signs up to my list. Give value and people will respond!

Adding structure to your blog posts is critical too, there has to be a point to it and more importantly a call to action (CTA). More about this later.

As a mentor I help my clients see this as a great way to start because not only are they writing about their business but they are helping their audience with the problems that are most pressing to them. As a mentor that’s what I do, I help businesses with problems. As a business yourself that’s what you do, you help people or other businesses with their problems and so the whole world and internet revolves around helping each other, or it should!

I have touched on blogging as an example and the first place to start with your online marketing efforts because creating a blog will mean you always have ‘fresh’ content on your website plus clients and search engines will love you for it. But something you must never do is ramble through your blog posts, they must have meaning, they must help the reader and they must have structure so the person or businesses they are aimed at see the value instantly. I see this happening a lot when businesses first start ‘blogging’ they just ramble on about themselves and what they are doing. Please don’t make this mistake too. Do your research before you start. Find out what your audience needs the most and then give it to them.

Always have a ‘call to action’. This could be returning the reader to your website so they can see what services or products you offer. It could be a competition or it could be a free give or a way or getting them to sign up to your email list. Always have a call to action that gives the reader even more value. (See top tip above)

What now?
I hope this has given you some ‘food for thought’ into how you should be approaching your marketing and that if it isn’t working its not too late to ask for help. It’s too important NOT to do anything about it.

You could also consider becoming a mentor yourself and helping others solve problems that they might be stuck with? Its really rewarding!

If you would like to know more about mentoring please click here.

Have a great day and I will speak to you soon.

Keith

PS: Keith is a mentor for the PRIME organization.

Content Creation

Content Creation

The last post was on finding and helping clients with their social marketing, I hope you liked it and got something out of it?

Now I want to take you into the murky depths of content creation and marketing and how writing great content can really help where you position yourself in the market and get you noticed on Google.

Now writing great content has always been important but with the recent changes to Google algorithms it’s more important than ever and to find out more about how this can really help you and for this I would recommend that you seek out David Amerland he really is the man to speak to about search and how it affects your business. We will touch on it in a later post but please get a ‘heads up’ first by following David

You’re Media Hub

Before you create your fantastic content you need to have somewhere that people can come to read it. So you must have in place your ‘media hub’ to really make this work for you and your business, no point writing all this great content if no one can find it to read it right? Creating a website is a must and this then becomes your ‘media hub’. What do I mean by this? Well think of it this way when I worked for a publishing company we produced magazines and newspapers who produced printed products that were distributed by newsagents and shops to our readers all over the area, this is still the way newspapers are distributed. Now think of your website as a newsroom and printing press rolled into one and your social channels as the newsagents who distribute your content. Without each other there wouldn’t have been people reading newspapers and this model still works well on the internet. In fact it works so well that most big publishing companies use it.

So using this concept, albeit scaled down to suit your needs, you can create great content and distribute it to your audience in an easy and structured way.

Creating great content

This can be the difficult part because you might be a great writer with nothing to say and that will never do. What if you’re just starting out and you’re not sure what you can ‘specialise’ in? This can also be a problem but wait it’s not all over before it gets started. If you have an existing business its easy just write about what you do but make it personable and interesting for the reader or watcher, if you’re creating video. But what if you haven’t got a business yet and you’re using social channels to see if there is enough interest to ‘kick it off’? Either way you need to create a website, this is really easily with WordPress, and links through to your social channels. This is now starting to look like a news creation and distribution service for little or no cost.

Now we come to the content! First off no one wants to read dull boring copy, it just isn’t what we want these days. We want great insider help on our problems and questions and we want to be entertained and educated while we’re reading. If we don’t get it then we’re off to the next person or business that can supply it.

Great content should inform and help it has to resonate with your tribe or audience and it should always have them coming back for more. If you noticed this is part two of a series of posts that will build into a resource on creating great content and creating the media hub to distribute that content. You know by what I am telling you that there will be other posts to come and hopefully you will come back to read the rest. This is what content creation is all about, it’s easy when you break it down in to manageable chunks you just need to have a plan and a strategy for getting it out there.

So what comes next? Well you have to have a smooth transition from media hub to social channels and in the next post we will discuss how we can do this.

Until then have a great day!

If this is something that you are interested in and want to learn more why not join us in the ENGAGE program, there’s a special deal throughout December, where we take an even ‘deeper look at setting up a newsroom and newsagents system plus a whole lot more.

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